Thesis is a word that best describe the final year of being a student. It is the very pages that sums up all the long hours of researching, learning and writing a candidate for graduate has undergone. Thesis will also highlight your skills as a student. A typical thesis consists of a title page, abstract, table of contents, introduction, and review of related literature, methodology and conclusions. It will test your character and your patience. A highly accomplished thesis will bring confidence on the researcher and will give life-long benefits on academically and personally.
Identify the Structure of Your Thesis
Ask your professor what will be the complete structure of your thesis. A structure is important because it will organize your paper and logically bind it so it will form a sort of “story” your reader will read. It is given that a thesis will be a long so a structure is needed to justify the connecting sections of your writing. A typical thesis is consists of a title page, table of contents, abstract and five chapters which will act as introduction, review of related literature, methodology, findings and conclusions.
Title Page– The title page consist the title of the thesis, the author’s or researcher’s names, the institution, the college department and the date of submission. It is written in a separate page to the other parts of the thesis.
Table of Contents– The table of contents gives the readers an outline of all the topics as well as the pages where the items will be found. List all the headings and subheadings should be indented.
Abstract– Abstract is the brief summary and will introduce what the whole thesis will be about. Summarize the major points of the thesis and give the results as well as the conclusions. A thesis abstract should be limited to two-three paragraphs and should consist approximately 400 words. Write the abstract as comprise, as readable and as quantitative as possible. Do not repeat any information from the title in your abstract and learn the value of paraphrasing.
Chapter 1 Introduction– As the opening chapter, the introduction should give the reader a motivation to finish the manuscript. This will be the page where you will introduce the problem of the thesis, the hypothesis, the theoretical and conceptual framework used and the terms that the reader will encounter and its meaning. Give the introduction up to ten pages and maximize this page limit to give a complete chapter 1.
Chapter 2 Review of Related Literature– A review of related literature is significant in a thesis because it will be the indicator of theoretical basis of the thesis. It will also help in identifying the further studies that needed to be done. Keep the review of related literature relatable to your topic and it should be specific no matter what. Take note to document all the references you used for it will be used in the reference page.
Chapter 3 Methodology– Giving the methods you used to come up with the solution of your problem thesis will enable the readers to believe with your hypothesis. This section should give calculations and procedures done to give fundamentals of the theory.
Chapter 4 Results and Findings– This chapter will include mostly of explanations of the result of the research done in the thesis. Including this thesis section are graphs and table that will help the readers visualize the outcomes. Stick with your findings and present it in the simplest and most creative form possible.
Chapter 5 Conclusion and Recommendations– Ending your thesis should provide a restatement of problem and the solutions that were made through the research process. Generalize the impact of the findings and the effects of the thesis to the public. Also include to whom the thesis will greatly appeal and be helpful for.
Gather the Data on Your Thesis
Give enough time to have your references settled and be sure to make a thesis outline that will improve the writing process. All the information that will be included in your content will be cited later on so along the process of collecting data and relevant information keep a note of the author’s information as well as publication information. Conduct the source identification procedure properly so all the findings and results you will generate will be of importance to the paper.
Start the Writing Process
Once all the important data is collected and you have made a successful research then you can begin the writing process of your thesis. It will be helpful if you will create a thesis outline so it will serve as the overview of how you will organize all the information in the content of your thesis. Improve the way you write and separate writing a thesis to the other form of writings you have done. A thesis should be written as concise but informative. The shorter the better but with complete findings and analysis is the key to your thesis.
Prepare on the Thesis Defence
A good content is needed but defending your work is of high importance. The thesis defence happens after you have given the final draft of your manuscript. It is the chance of the researcher to explain and to further prove the result of research with the thesis instructor and the panelists. The thesis defence will enable the institution to know if you truly understand the thesis that you wrote about so be sure that enough preparation will be done.
- Prepare for your thesis as early as possible. Familiarize yourself with other thesis that you can easily borrow on your public or private library.
- Spend quality time in gathering your resources. Sort each information that you will use according to its importance to the thesis you are writing. Cross out information that is misleading so you will save time in the end.
- It will be helpful if you will set goals for the thesis writing process that you can accomplish one by one. This will give you drive along the way.
It is important for a thesis to be organized and understood. Though formatting could be such a pain for all thesis writers, it is something that just has to be done. Without a proper format, the thesis would just be unappreciated by readers and most of all evaluators. It could reflect that the thesis was not written with care, regardless of how good its cases are. A thesis is as much function as it is form. A student’s concern in writing a thesis should not just be about what to say in the paper but also in how to say it. Visuals matter in thesis writing because of the writer’s main objective to get his insights to be understood and appreciated by all those who read them. To make a successful thesis you have to make sure that you make it clean, organized and visually appealing by learning how a thesis format.
Granted that there is no fixed rule for formatting a thesis, there are still general guidelines that most educational institutions agree on.
The abstract is a brief summary of the entire thesis from beginning to end. Its presence is for those who want to look at a quick overview without going in to too much detail. In this part of the thesis the writer should be able to summarize in a paragraph or two at the most what the entire thesis is about. Beginning with the importance of the study, followed by the objectives, then the summary of the findings and a quick highlight of the conclusions, the abstract should still be written concisely as possible, fitting into approximately 400 words.
The basic purpose of writing an introduction is to become a teaser for the rest of the study. Not to be confused with the abstract, which summarizes the entire thesis, an introduction gives a view of why the study is worth pursuing, who started the study, key milestones of previous researchers, down to the thesis writer’s personal reasons for pursuing the study, demonstrated in the form of the significance of the study. Even with the presence of personal insights, the introduction should as much as possible not be written with sentiments or with personal pronouns. The importance of a study is valid only if the reason for its pursuit is because of a concrete research gap in previous studies.
The body of the thesis is comprised of the detailed research related to the thesis problem. This is usually the longest part of the thesis, which makes it also the most prone to be disorganized. One trick to make the body manageable is to prepare a topical outline with main topics and subtopics. Remember that each paragraph or consecutive paragraphs should be all about one subtopic, without incorporating the rest of the subtopics. Learn how to segregate each piece of information not just by author, but also by the information themselves. The presence of titles and subtitles in the final paper may or may not be a requirement, depending on the university or college, but using topics and subtopics in the draft is essential in making a thesis organized.
These parts of a thesis might take the longest time to format in a final document because of the use of graphics and sometimes numeric data, which should all be clearly stated, as these parts are the most precise and most objective data that the thesis writer produces. It’s important that as much as possible a single graph or framework fits into one page, or if not, consecutive pages that would appear as a spreadsheet in the final printout. The recommendation here is to incorporate the tables and figures in the document right away in order to not have an abrupt change in page numbers later on in the process.
Results and Conclusions
Although both mean an end result, they still differ in function in thesis writing. Stating results entails objective data while conclusions contain what the writer himself makes of the results. Simply put, Results are drawn from the data gathering while the conclusions are drawn from the writer’s critical analysis, which are in line with the research questions that he intended to address. Whether lengthy or not, both parts should be exacting and should revolve around the research objectives.
Examples of a Thesis: The Good and the Bad
The Difference between a Topic and a Thesis
A common mistake in student writers is in how they see what a research paper should be like. Often they remain accustomed to writing essays wherein picking a topic and expounding on the topic will suffice for a good paper. They should know that writing major research papers calls for more than a topic; it also calls for deeper thought, constructing a claim that the writer should be persuasive about, namely, the thesis. Students often commit the mistake of settling for a topic, which is a more general theme of any paper instead of going deeper into a thesis, which is composed of a topic as well as a claim that he has to prove.
What Makes a Good Thesis?
A thesis should be narrow enough to have room for only intensive research and to have a relatively small scope in order for it to be a good paper. This also assures that the research is accomplishable within the limited period of time as well as makes the research process relatively easier than having to deal with a thesis that is too broad. Having an overbroad thesis would make the thesis paper strong in quantity of content, but it will also fall short as too weak in terms of quality.
A thesis is not supposed to be an absolutely correct statement, but rather an argument that could go on either side of a spectrum. Being open ended simply means that the thesis as a whole should be something that is debatable and something that readers could disagree or agree on. The thesis committee does not look on the rightness or wrongness of a thesis because they are well aware that there is no research that is absolutely correct. They measure a thesis on the writer’s ability to stick to one claim and his conviction to his statement all the way through until the last page of the thesis.
“Students retain more information if it is presented via films instead of books because of its entertainment value.”
This is a simple statement to illustrate the point of a good thesis. The statement is agreeing on films as effective learning tools, so it does stick to a side. It is debatable in the sense that there are some studies that prove that films are just tools of distraction and not for learning, while there are findings that state that there are students that retain more information when they could read what they’re learning, meaning that there is no absolute truth to it. You can also see some thesis sample for you to work with.
What Makes a Bad Thesis?
A general statement does not make a statement a thesis, but a simple topic. Not being able to take a stand is something that novice writers do often because they worry about failing due to incorrect claims. But the beauty of making in academic discussion is that there are no absolutely right or wrong claims in a properly written thesis. The only mistake they would be committing is in not taking the risk at all. If a sentence could not be contested, then there is no thesis to begin with.
Even if the thesis does state a claim, the claim itself should still be in line with the student’s academic level. Writing a thesis on something that everybody could find out on their own by tangible observation is not something a thesis committee would approve or care about, especially if the thesis is supposed to be for a college level or above. There should be enough sense on going through all those months of research over a thesis, and overly simple statements, even if they do take a side, is just unacceptable as a thesis example.
“The color of the sky changes as the day passes”
Phrasing a statement in this way makes for a bad thesis because first and foremost it is an overly simple statement, without any additional information that could stir a debate, such as what makes the color of the sky change. Furthermore, this statement in itself does not make room for further argument, is something that can easily be observed with the help of simple observation.
The key to a successful thesis is good decision making and choosing wisely. Analyzing good thesis examples as well as knowing how not to make a thesis is just as important as learning how to do it properly in order to be sure of a well constructed thesis argument.
Basic Principles of a Thesis Paper
Writing a thesis and defending it successfully determines if you are capable enough to make an independent study out of your own initiative and with the least supervision possible. Needless to say, the thesis paper may be one of the most important requirements of an aspiring graduate because it decides if you are ready to be welcomed into the real world. What makes it more intimidating is that it’s research work, it’s a long process, and majority of the work is dependent on you. Regardless of the difficulty, it still is possible to write a good thesis, and it all depends on your skill in researching and analyzing. No one can be a master in intermediate mathematics if one isn’t even knowledgeable of the multiplication table; the same principle applies to thesis writing—you can’t expect to write a good thesis without understanding the basics of it first. The following are the things you need to know once you decide on undertaking a thesis paper.
What do you need to make a thesis paper?
- An idea– All theses revolve around a solitary idea, regardless of how many number of pages or volumes. This idea is the most important thing in the paper because it serves as the foundation of the research, so it should be carefully thought through. It all starts with deciding the topic, drawn from your previous subject matters. Typically, it should be something that needs more exploring yet should have enough research materials, as well as enough reason why the idea is even worth discussing. After choosing an idea, the next thing to do is to think what problem you would like to explore on the topic. The problem you intend to solve should be something that hasn’t been brought to attention before, or at least not as intensely as it should have been. Combine a topic and a problem, and you get your thesis idea.
- An advisor– Obviously you won’t be expected to become a master without a mentor. Not all professors are suited for your thesis needs. In the faculty, there are probably only a handful of educators who are experts on the field you decide to make a thesis on, and even fewer would find your thesis interesting enough to support. This advisor should be the first to back up your ideas and to give constructive criticism if necessary. Apart from these traits, it is important that this advisor is someone that can easily be accessed whenever you need feedback to guarantee smooth progress.
- The right attitude– Once you get a topic that is interesting to you and that is researchable, automatically you have to hope for the best. There will always be a reason for a thesis to sink, but it is entirely up to you if you will steer it back into the right course again. Thinking negatively right away about thesis writing would definitely reflect on the final paper. Remember that no matter how many information you get from your library sources, your words will be the ones that will speak to the evaluators.
What should be in a thesis paper?
- Good sources– A thesis paper is in essence a textbook created by undergraduates, and like all textbooks, everybody who reads it will assume immediately that the sources the writer has used are trustworthy. Determining good sources aren’t as hard as you would think; all it takes is a trip to the library. Although electronic sources are considered as legitimate sources, it still is important to keep your guard up in using them. Since the internet is a free for all area, anybody could have written the material that you’ve just searched for. Also, one great source are thesis sample that you can easily access thru the web. Just be sure that it is trustworthy. So check the facts before considering internet sources, or better still, try to avoid them completely.
- A purpose– Evaluators would not approve of a thesis that merely states facts without contributing to popular knowledge because they could have just researched those for themselves. In fact, with their years of experience in the academe, it would not even be surprising if they already knew the facts that you research on. What they are truly looking for is the new insights that you could bring to the table. In establishing what your thesis paper is about, you also establish why you bring it up. This purpose should become the compelling reason for readers to turn the pages.
Technology is always developing to make things more convenient for people and for any type of need. Back when the academe was only restricted to a two way street from the school to the library and back, students didn’t know any other world apart from the books that were available in their own area as well as the lectures given to them by their educators. Although relatively sufficient help to get by school requirements, the students were at the mercy of whatever educational institutions around them could contain and what their physical surroundings offered. In the past there was little to no possibility of expanding one’s knowledge unless one literally goes out of his way for it, no way to contact people or sources other than the telephone, and no way for people to get to know the insights from people from across the globe. Jumping to present day, we could see how much all that has changed.
The internet as well as other technological advancements makes it easier for the common people to make the most out of looking for answers, and no one benefits from this cyber luxury more than students, who are always on the prowl for new information in the quickest possible time. Belonging in this day and age means that information is just within a hand’s reach. Not only information but also quality services that students sorely need could be rendered with the help of the internet nowadays. Student researchers from anywhere could just contact other people from all walks of life just by being online to get all the information, resources, and help that they could not find in their own local premises. Because of these luxuries, it really is hard imagining what life would be like without technology.
What sorts of help can you really get from the internet?
It may be unimaginable now, but there was a time that people had to rely on their own manual skills to write neatly. Because there are just so much more demands from the modern writer, it’s difficult to prioritize how a thesis paper should look like instead of focusing on the content itself. It was hard to take one step forward incorrectly because it would lead them to going two steps back. Because of formatting software that has developed lately, formatting a thesis became a very simple task without much thought required as before. Apart from the difficulty of typing in long texts and hard to illustrate formulas, other data analysis software has also been made readily available online. Second guessing oneself in computations is not at all surprising, so the software makes it easier for the thesis writer to be surer of himself. It’s so hard to imagine life without these several automated software, whose ideas are genius and meant to make things much more convenient for the thesis writer.
Knowing how to write a thesis without the use of visual demonstration could make thesis writing very hard for the student, especially if he is someone who doesn’t know where to begin. Blindly moving towards progress still is risky and it is risk that is just not worth taking if there were any other alternative. Again, thanks to technology, it is possible for thesis writers to see other works as basis on whether or not they are doing the job correctly.
Anyone could simply access thesis online with the permission of generous authors, authors who are willing to share their information in free space. Instead of physically going to all sorts of libraries, researchers could electronically get in touch with other libraries via their databases, making it all the more easier to acquire research materials from other side of the world without the need to take even a single step. And as convenient as this might sound, it is also possible for other willing writers to generate original work for the students’ own consumption to use as supplementary thesis help.
Being able to get these thesis samples is just another way to enhance one’s research materials, writing style, as well as thesis ideas. With all these kinds of writing assistance, it really is hard to perceive how much easier things could get for a thesis writer. You can take a look at some people blog work to help better understand it.
You can’t build something without knowing how every tool works. In order to make a thesis function in the correct way that it’s supposed to, you should be able to know what makes up a thesis and how they function together as an entire paper.
Rules of a Proper Thesis Structure
1. You should guide your readers – Getting readers to stay with your thesis is not enough to say that you have an effective work. Your hold on the audience should be just as firm as how it started, all the way until the last page of the paper.
With the length of a thesis, it’s no surprise that your readers could get lost along the way, so make sure that your thesis is organized and easy to understand. You have to do the thinking so that they could get a nice reading experience. Using a table of contents, they could be guided into what is in your thesis before they could even read it. You can see how we build and create our table of contents in our thesis sample.
Being a researcher, you know that some readers are only in the search for numeric data and information that can be understood upon one minute of reading it. This is where the list of tables and list of figures come in handy. And for the readers that are having a hard time getting accustomed to new words, there should always be a glossary to make them understand your thesis smoothly. These guides are the blueprints of your paper and should not be missing in your final output.
2. Know how to summarize your study – Part of being a good writer is not just how long one can stretch the number of pages; it’s also in how well one can cut to the chase. The way you summarize your conclusions, for instance, is a good indicator that you know your work by heart. Summarizing conclusions calls for being able to recap what you wanted to find out and whether or not you found it. You have to know what key points to highlight for the sake of readers who do not have the time to read but still appreciate your work all the same. The abstract summarizes the entire thesis and cuts the time for readers who are pressed for time working on researches of their own.
3. Don’t just repeat old information; develop your own! – A thesis is not just some common research paper; it’s the grandest one of them all! The reason for a thesis and the whole writing process to exist is because the academe needs new information coming from young minds before they become part of the work force. The standards are high in thesis writing, which is why your original input and how you write it, matters most of all in your paper. Choosing a thesis topic is one thing, but if you do not know how to sell your idea in the introduction, or if you simply narrate what you find in your research without any analysis, then your thesis would be nothing but a very long and very dull research paper. In the event that you have fulfilled just as much as you wanted to do, the educational system does not shun you from graduation; actually, it encourages you to state your recommendations for the readers who one day hope to study a similar thesis to carry out what you could not accomplish.
The whole point in school no matter what level is to help each other scale greater heights. And with the help of a proper thesis structure and the knowledge of how to use them, your thesis can achieve a high level that you didn’t expect from when you were just brainstorming your ideas.
When meeting someone for the first time a person must as always know how to introduce oneself. Introduction, whether short or long, serves as the binding tool more so an engagement that could promote an understanding. So is the reason why introduction is an integral part in a thesis.
A lot of instructional guidelines will say that the conclusion is like a reversed version of the introduction, but its function does not stop just there. It’s not like rewinding a movie and seeing actors doing everything backwards. The conclusion of a thesis should put emphasis on the more important findings and express their importance.
Promising a child that you will give him a lollipop isn’t enough; you have to follow through with the promise for him to be really happy. A reader without the answers is like the child without promised sweets; disappointed and in some cases upset. A thesis cannot stand with only just a proposal;
The ultimate mission of writing a thesis is to get your work understood by those who would appreciate it. No matter how knowledgeable you are with your thesis, you can’t expect others to understand everything you’ve studied just because they belong to a field similar or equivalent to yours. Help them understand your work better.
List of tables
A table usually has four legs; as in the case of thesis writing. A table also has four components to make it stand on its own, namely, the data, the organization, the title, and the guide that leads readers to it. Losing one of those legs will make the table lose its purpose.
Table of contents
Hardly anyone would want to go off on a trip to an unknown place without a map in hand. Even with the presence of page numbers, readers could get confused jumping from one chapter to another without an official guide to the thesis outline.
A good thesis abstract serves as the heading of a news story. As the heading, a thesis abstract must be complete in information. It must be something that a reader will read that even he or she doesn’t continue the rest of story there will be a link of understanding. Abstract is the first set of paragraphs that a reader reads so it should play like a hook and catch the attention of the general audience so as to make your thesis known and identified.
Abstract is the straight-forward summary of your thesis written in a manner that the reader, thesis professor or panelist will have an idea what your thesis is about with just one-time reading. The abstract should act as your mini-thesis answering what, why and how of your manuscript such as what the thesis is about, why the thesis is important and how have you come up with the answer to your hypothesis.
Steps in Writing a Thesis Abstract
Highlight the reason why you are writing the thesis- As an introduction to your thesis abstract, try to motivate your readers by explaining the importance of your study. You can also give information as to how your chosen topic will be of an impact and list the difficulty scale so readers will have an initiative on the value of thesis you are doing.
State the thesis problem- All thesis answers a problem. If your chosen topic of research doesn’t answer a vital problem then your thesis is doomed. Write more about the difficulty of the problem you are trying to answer through the intensive study you will be making.
Give the methodology- After stating the problem then you will have to give the step or the methods you did to solve this. Reason out how you come up with the answer to your hypothesis. Surround this part of your abstract with the extent of your work and how wide have you gone through just to accomplish the thesis. Also give out the important variables that comprise your thesis.
Show the results- Be clear on the findings that you havegone on your study and try to put numbers instead of words such as “very”, “significant” and “small”. The more detailed the result is, the better.
Conclude- The last part of your thesis abstract should contain the parting information as to the implication of the study that you made. Emphasize what your study will be used for and whom it will be useful in the future. Do remember to be creative in concluding you’re abstract to give a positive remark from the readers.
Basic Abstract Structure
An abstract can be a paragraph or can consist of two or more. Rely on your thesis adviser about the word limit for this important part of your thesis. A simple structure that you can follow is to divide your thesis abstract into three paragraphs.
First paragraphs should be dedicated to open the topic of your thesis and the methods you used along the research process. Second paragraph can be devoted to the structure of the thesis and giving one to two sentences summarizing each major chapters of your content. The third paragraph should show the results of your analysis and study in summarized form.
Thesis Abstract Do’s and Don’ts
- Do keep the abstract short and simple. Limit your abstract to 350-500 words explaining everything that must be explained from the steps mentioned above. If an abstract is done in a long form, the reader’s attention might be short to the point of not reading at all.
- Do have expectations on the result. Since you are still writing an abstract which means you are not done with the research process itself, expectations are the main things that will control your abstract. An example of abstract-actual-conclusion statement is as follows.
- ABSTRACT: “The research is expected to…”
- WRITING PROCESS: “The research showed that…”
- Conclusion: “Contrary to the expectation, the research showed that…”
- Do have keywords or terms that should be found in your abstract that will be the basis for those who will look for your work either in the present or in the future use. These keywords must appear in your thesis abstract more often. Keywords serve for two purposes. One, to facilitate in keyword search index and second, it will serve as the basis for the papers to be reviewed by editors and committee.
- Do follow the structure of your abstract as to how the rest of the pages of your thesis will be. Double spaced if others will be double-spaced.
- Do remember that the abstract plays as the summary of your thesis so if your thesis has five major chapters such as introduction, review of related literature, methodology, findings and conclusions, these main points must be summarized for a combination of one to two sentences that will comprise the whole abstract page.
- Do provide numerical values as much as possible.
- Don’t focus the abstract on what you did as the researcher but rather with what you have discovered through the research you have done.
- Don’t too much detail that might make your whole thesis less appealing. It should serve as an appetizer for your research so instead of feeding everything, a well-written abstract should make your hungry for more.
Importance of Thesis Abstract
Abstract offer readers a quick look to the thesis you have made. This quick look is important for this will assess the perception of the readers. Writing abstract for your thesis will filter the things that you will have to do to complete the research paper and the things that you have already done. It will help you visualize your thesis in the bigger format and will guide you in making your thesis one coherent and unified research study. It can also be stated that thesis abstract, like thesis title, is the stand alone part of your requirement that will serve as the identity of your work. Through the abstract, readers and well as spectators can easily search in today’s electronic information system.
Try to read on with either public or private library as to how a thesis abstract looks. Being familiar with how abstracts are being presented and how it should not be. Give enough time to review made abstracts to save your time in the making process but do it with your originality and don’t imitate.
Ever wondered why writers from all disciplines struggle with coming up with a title? If you ever experienced thesis writing, you don’t even need to wonder why. Thinking about a title takes as much, if not greater care as writing other parts of a thesis because it serves as the face of the study. People will see a title first and determine whether or not it is of any importance to them.
There is such a challenge in coming up with good titles because of its impact on the study itself. Creative and analytical thinking is needed just to think about a title, but all the considerations are necessary to greatly improve on a thesis. The trouble is that writers, especially beginners, are still testing the waters and are therefore not so sure if what they come up with is right.
Frequantly Asked Questions about Writing a Thesis Title
1. When do I start writing my thesis title?
Titles are not supposed to be formulated neither at the very beginning nor at the very end of the thesis writing. It’s a dynamic element of the entire study that changes as the thesis progresses. It’s virtually impossible to make a final title from scratch. After all, it should be based on the entire thesis, including parts like the methodology, which could not possibly be formulated at the very beginning of the thesis writing. Along the way the title will be undergoing some changes along with the ones that you have to make for the whole thesis, so it’s best to come up with a running title after, let’s say, 80% of the work is through. Writing the thesis title should not also be done at the very last minute either, since the odds are it will be ignored because of the other parts of the thesis that you have to worry about.
2. What do I include in the title?
Often writers struggle with adding too much or too little in the thesis title. The basic components of a thesis title are a main title and a subtitle. The former is usually shorter than the latter, which is a more detailed description of the thesis and its study. Main titles are also referred to as creative titles because of writers’ tendencies to add their touches of creativity into it. Creative titles are a good way to make a thesis stand out, but should not be stressed more than the subtitle. Some universities do not require a main title as long as the thesis title is self-explanatory.
3. How long should a thesis title be?
There is no exact rule as to how long a title should be to become thesis worthy. Common sense would tell the thesis writer to not to make his title as long as a paragraph, since it defeats the purpose of describing the thesis concisely. Neither does it mean that two words alone could explain a thesis well enough. For the sake of an overall guideline, the maximum space that a title should contain is no bigger than two lines of the title page itself, approximately 15 words at the most. But of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but it will really depend on how many elements are in the thesis.
4. How do I begin writing a title?
Once the thesis is already in progress, the first thing that you have to do is to take note of the important key words and variables that were present in your study. You should give important emphasis to the outline, the topic, and if doing an experiment, the methodologies and the respondents who were involved in the thesis. After finalizing the set of words that you think are most important in the thesis, write down as many title options as you can, keeping in mind the basic components and eliminating words that are unnecessary. Once you have your list of options, have someone else read them, like a thesis advisor or a fellow student. You don’t have to take a vote on the most favored title and decide based on popularity, but it is important to get someone else’s feedback on whether or not they have a clear and correct idea of what your thesis will discuss. If they understood the concept, you can be assured that you’re on the right track with making a good thesis title.
Problem with Brainstorming Ideas
A thesis no matter what kind starts from a single idea. Students know that in order to make a good thesis, it has to be grounded on a good idea; everything else in their work will be dependent on it. But thinking of a good idea for a thesis is not as easy as it sounds. It’s not like thinking about an essay where the writer could just simply change his mind because he just doesn’t have more to say. Sticking with a thesis idea is a commitment, one that is irreversible.
Although it is technically possible to back down on an idea, it would be very harmful for the writer, especially one who’s pressed for time. Because once a writer changes his idea, it is very likely that he will have to alter everything in his thesis. So commitment to an idea, and a good one at that, is the key. A lot of people know that there are many ways in which the thesis writer could brainstorm for good thesis ideas, but without the proper direction and thought process, he could end up in a dead end.
How to Come Up with an Idea
There is no exact science to how somebody thinks of a thesis idea. At first people will think that it is possible to conceptualize an idea that is perfect. But what exactly is it that people think is a perfect idea?
Some would think that something that interests them is the way to go while others think that a perfect idea lies in something that the academe would find innovative. Mixing both characteristics together, although seemingly inconceivable, is actually possible. It may not be perfect in the sense that it will guarantee a good grade, but at least it is perfect to match your strengths as a thesis writer.
The concept of the more the merrier is not really applicable with thesis writing. A common misconception of a good idea especially on the part of beginners is that it should answer a lot of questions, but nothing could be further from the truth.
All theses have limitations to their research and findings which is not a problem at all; if anything, an idea with limitations is ideal in writing a thesis because in this way the writer has a focus which makes the quality of work better. An idea with limitations also ensures that the thesis could be accomplished under the deadline that the thesis is supposed to be done.
Another thing that would help in a thesis idea is getting to know what possibilities have already been explored. It is important to not assume that the first idea that you come up with is automatically an original because it is very likely that someone already came up with the idea first.
Not realizing this and still pursuing a seemingly original idea could be academically fatal for the thesis writer, especially if he could be accused of plagiarizing the idea. Reading up and exploring the possibilities is not meant for the writer to imitate a preexisting idea, but it is supposed to help him to get inspiration.
Components of a Thesis Idea
Getting an abstract of an idea is also getting one step closer to formalizing it into a workable thesis. Keep in mind that a thesis idea is not the same as an essay idea. The latter could be alright with a simple topic but the former needs to be more in-depth. When thinking of a thesis idea, make sure that all its components are already present before getting to work on it.
A topic is the most fundamental part of any literary or academic idea. Getting a topic to work on should be easy since this all the thesis writer needs to concern himself about is thinking of a topic that still is related to his area of expertise.
The only limitation to think about is the topic should not be stagnant, or something that is easily explored without potential for new information to be drawn out from it. The thesis idea will not even become a thesis if the topic is not coupled with a problem. All theses have a problem that needs to be explored and answered successfully by the thesis writer. In this respect, the thesis problem should be something solvable and something that would serve as significant to the thesis writer’s area of expertise.
What Should the Introduction Do?
You rarely hear of a work with no introduction for a reason. Nobody wants to deliver a speech when people don’t know who they are and what they are there for; the same is true with written works. If a thesis had a voice, its first words would probably be a loud resounding “Read me”. And what better way to translate this plea for attention than in the thesis introduction, which functions in a two-way system, both for the reader and writer.
A writer’s main objective is to get his thesis read and understood by other people. In order for this to happen, he himself should understand the elements of his thesis from the beginning to end. The thesis introduction helps give direction to the entire work, making sure that the writer does not go off the topic or does not stray away from his initial objective.
In the other side of the spectrum is the thesis reader who does not have the time to read through an entire 50 pages without knowing if it will do his own studies any good. That is why when he reads the first pages of a book or a research paper he has to know for sure that the work contributes something relevant.
Although it is assumed that all theses should be able to contribute new and valuable knowledge, it’s obvious that some theses serve better needs to some studies more than others. It’s important that the thesis from the very start of the paper should be able to tell what a reader could expect from it.
How to Make an Introduction
- Know the parts of an introduction –Some people have a hard time writing out introductions because they don’t have a clear grasp of what should be included in them, especially in narrating background knowledge and establishing the context of the thesis. Familiarize yourself with its basic parts and figure out which information from your thesis should be incorporated into each. Knowing the components of an introduction and making an outline to that effect will help keep the chapter on point and keep the writer from including things that don’t need to be included.
- Make a running introduction before writing the thesis –Before even making a thesis proposal, you should already have it in your head what you want to make your thesis about, its motivations, its hypothesis, and an anticipated set of answers that you aim to find. Your running introduction doesn’t even have to be formally written or even written at all, but writing down a rough draft of it would help. The important thing here is have a clear objective in mind before writing the thesis. It’s not necessary to write an introduction formally from the very beginning because a thesis could always be altered in any way in the earlier parts of writing it.
- Finish majority of the paper before working on the formal introduction –The thesis introduction is mostly composed of information that will be seen in the later chapters of the work, and therefore should be written only later in the writing process. An introduction contains the overall picture of the thesis and could only be written formally when you already have a set of final elements in mind. Think of it like cooking— you could only do it efficiently only if you have the right ingredients already prepared. If you written down your rough draft before then all you need to do is revise it in such a way that it will suit the final alterations to your thesis.
A Little Reminder
Remember that introductions are not just a simple “once upon a time” of a study and it’s not just giving a lecture of what your thesis is about. Evaluators will be looking for your original input, especially in your statement of the significance of the study. So make absolutely sure that your introduction contains more than just a simple copy paste of what’s yet to come in the thesis. Make your introduction stand out with creative, persuasive and compelling for your readers to be as passionate about it as you’ve become. When in doubt of what an introduction should be like, you could always find inspiration from other works and thesis examples.
The Basics of Thesis Research
Why is research so important?
Studying for an exam is almost always tiring for the average student, and in a way, it is more exhausting for a thesis writer conducting his own research. Thesis research is pretty much like studying in that the student should understand what he’s reading. But then again, research for a thesis paper requires deeper thought than that, as he is expected to retain what he has learned for more than a short period of time, but at the same time be able to explain what he has learned as if he was the instructor himself. The hours that it takes to research about your thesis are all worth it considering how much it strengthens your claims. It is understood that the more research that supports a thesis, the more trustworthy it is.
Where to get research materials
Whether from local of international origins, books are the most reputable sources for any thesis or dissertation. It is likely that published works have the more trustworthy information and are also the same sources that previous studies have based their research on. You’ll know written and published works in general are trustworthy because of the fact that they went through screening by publishing houses. If renowned publishers are willing to lay their reputation on the line for these authors, you certainly could rely on them with your thesis as well. Obvious sources of reputable books are your local library, but you could also order books online, granted that you check critic reviews before making sure that a book or written source is worth buying.
The World Wide Web is a great way to make people from totally opposite ends of the world to connect to each other in a blink of an eye. Without having to step out of your home, you could get any kind of information you want, making it the most convenient source for your thesis research. But keep in mind that because of this ability to connect to other sources no matter how far they are and because of the freedom to publish anything online, you also run the risk of encountering less than trustworthy information. Because of this risk, the academe discourages relying on electronic sources as much as written works. Online journals from reputable companies are sure to be good sources for academic information, just make sure that they truly are as reliable as they appear to be.
How to research
Taking the proper steps in thesis research will help your paper become understood clearer and much more appreciated by readers. In researching, it is important to take your time in doing it right in order to avoid experiencing major setbacks in the thesis writing process.
One quality of a good researcher is being able to discern whether or not a material is worth adding to his thesis in the shortest time possible. Getting a clear overview of what your research materials are about is an efficient way to remove or add them to your bibliography without having to eat up your time. In scanning sources, you don’t have to take too much time to tell if the information you’ll get is related to your thesis. It is important to retain the sources that are directly related to your thesis and to be ready to let go of those that aren’t to make sure that your thesis content is foolproof from the very start.
After filtering the best of the best in your scanned sources, it’s time to organize and group all the information together according to how you want them to be seen in the final paper. This is the time where the thesis writer takes up most of his time because this is where he takes in and highlights what portions of the research materials are helpful to his topical outline. Study the information and issues each sources bring up because this helps add to your background knowledge as a whole. Grouping all related information together at this stage is essential in order for you to not become overwhelmed when creating your draft.
Being able to understand your materials is one thing; it’s another to make yourself understood. The key to writing is to make the statements simple yet informative. No need to intimidate the readers with overly complex words since it is your job to make your thesis a welcome body of information. Remember when writing down your thesis research, extreme care must be observed in grammar and stating sources.
An Overview of Thesis Writing
What’s so hard about making a thesis?
Students who are undergoing thesis writing as well as graduates who have already accomplished theirs would tell the beginner that thesis writing is one of the hardest things they have ever had to do. Studying, writing and researching and finding a good thesis sample or two as reference doesn’t seem so difficult to do on the surface, but depending on the unique qualities of every thesis, challenges will definitely range from easy and boring to impossible and life-altering. All sorts of things could go wrong in the process, from the gathering of data to the meeting of deadlines. Certain rules must be followed in order to keep the path to graduation straight and true. Thesis writing is like a plant; it needs constant care and attention. Once the student researcher discovers something new, it simply has to be added to the thesis straight away. Every paragraph and every word in a thesis counts, and it is important to pluck the weeds or unnecessary details in the research work. One wrong move or a serious lack of judgment and the plant will simply wither away. Thesis Statement Do not underestimate the power of one sentence. An entire thesis proposal would not be able to stand without a strong thesis statement to tie all the concepts together. Just like in literary essays, a thesis needs to have a central idea in a form of a single sentence, which is basically composed of the writer’s claim and his reasons for arriving at it. In order to be sure that a thesis statement is a good one, read it apart from the rest of the thesis. If by that statement alone, you understand what the research is about and what are the things you expect to see in it, then it means your statement is good to go. When you are able to compose a good thesis statement, the better your chances are of making a good thesis research. Thesis Format Knowing what parts make up a thesis is easy; what’s hard is writing what’s in them! Get to know the proper format by checking a good thesis sample in your university. Keep in mind that knowing a format does not restrict itself to looking at the physical format of a paper; it’s also necessary that you see how the researcher presents his facts in an organized manner. By examining a thesis sample, a student can also check an expert’s topical outline, or the framework that makes up the research. What are the main rules of thesis writing? Thesis writing is something that educators pay close attention to because this major activity determines the eligibility of the student to graduate under their guidance. Its importance in the academic world cannot be stressed enough, which is why it is so necessary for students to follow the rules, whether spoken or not. By this time, students should already be very familiar with these rules but for the sake of being sure, we lay down the thesis sample rules as a quick reminder of what all students should know.
- Don’t plagiarize- Over and over again, students have been able to get away with plagiarized work in literary essays or in book reports, never again in thesis writing. Even the wrong way of citing sources would be more than enough reason for evaluators to bat their eyes on your work. The scariest thing about plagiarism is, even when they think they’ve taken all measures, some people don’t even know if they are committing this crime against the academe. Be vigilant with every word and all information that passes on from your eyes to your paper. Catch yourself committing these errors before the committee catches you doing it first.
- Think of something new- There’s no point in producing information that other people could figure out on their own. The key to a great thesis is to make sure that nobody has thought of your idea before. One good way to be original is to scan previous thesis samples and research work and find out what it is that the people before you were not able to do in their studies yet. Be unique, the academe dares you!
What is an Epigraph?
An epigraph is a single quotation found in the beginning of a written work such as novels, books, theses, dissertations, etc. The quotation itself is normally not an original from the writer of the work, but from another writer or a famous person. Not many people use epigraphs in major research papers mainly because they see no value to it. Others, on the other hand, are more concerned about the rest of the thesis to even consider adding another touch of creativity to the final output. So why do epigraphs exist? Writers who take their time in making a thesis may want to set the mood for their work, so they use epigraphs to establish this desired emotion or to create an impact on the reader before he/she even begins to read the thesis itself.
Where is it Placed?
Epigraphs are found in a separate page from the rest of the parts of the thesis, but its exact location can vary from before the introduction to before any other chapter in the thesis. In the page itself, the line should be centered both vertically and horizontally. Unlike most parts of a thesis, it is formatted at single spaced most of the time and not included in the page numbers. Being direct quotations from another writer, they are supposed to begin and end with quotation marks and should be cited properly. At most, citing the source of the epigraph should only be restricted to the person who said the quotation followed by the book or the event where he or she said it in.
Is it Necessary?
Adding epigraphs are definitely an optional component in any form of literary work, especially in a thesis, where the primary focus will be on the information and results presented. Like in all things you put in a thesis, adding an epigraph should be carefully considered. It doesn’t directly affect the approval of a thesis, but it could still be a contributing factor in the evaluators’ overall opinion of how you write and make decisions. Choose a good epigraph and readers will momentarily be wowed with your careful selection. Choose a poorly constructed one however, and you end up with a negative impression of being unprofessional or being tasteless. To not make this happen, it’s important to select a quotation that is amusing, dramatic, or inspirational, depending on what mood you want to set your thesis to.
Purpose of an Outline
No matter how specific a thesis idea is, there are still so many directions for its research to go. Now whether it goes in a straight and organized path or in all sorts of wild directions is all up to the writer, whose main objective is to write a paper that anyone in his field can understand. Like herding sheep, similar ideas have to be rounded up for a peaceful farm to prosper. Thesis outlines are the fences that keep the thoughts intact and the thesis from crumbling into disarray. Although outlines are nothing more than frameworks that structure written works, making them work effectively is trickier than it looks.
What parts of a thesis need an outline the most?
Every part of a thesis calls for organization, but some could live without a formal outline while others cannot. Abstracts for instance don’t need subtopics although laying down what needs to be seen in it is equally important. Lengthier parts of the thesis such as Methodologies and the Review of Related Literature however, cannot possibly survive without an outline since they are heavily laden with content which could easily be disorganized without topics and subtopics for the writer to be guided with. It can consist of an introduction, body and a conclusion. Some writers find that it’s helpful to create outlines even for the simpler parts of a thesis, but only temporarily just to make sure that they do not go way off topic, a tactic ideal for beginners.
How to Write an Outline
The first order of business when organizing ideas is to gather as much relevant information as possible. Overviews of the information don’t have to automatically be included in the thesis, since this will overwhelm the writer. Rather, they should give him an idea of the things he could include in the outline. The next thing to do is to decide what general topics will suit the thesis well. Remember, having too much topics could cause the final paper to become overbroad. Finally, create subtopics in order for the overall content even more organized.
Remember to rearrange the outline in a way that would make the flow consistent. Generally, outlines go from general ideas to specific like with discussing theories down to specific situations. But depending on the study itself, it can also follow an “umbrella” flow, meaning that the main topics are not directly related to each other, but are still connected to the main issue in question, like in theses that compare and contrast.
With how difficult thesis writing is, it’s no surprise that you get by it with help from other people. Though thanking them formally in your final output is an option, it’s a small price to pay to show how grateful you are for their help.
Format of an Acknowledgment
A thesis acknowledgment page doesn’t have to take a whole lot of space in the thesis paper. At most it should be enough to take up half the space of the page, separate from the rest of the thesis. Usually the acknowledgment is placed in the first parts of the thesis paper, in between the abstract and the table of contents, but there are a few other alternatives on where you would want it to be placed. In some cases it is attached to the introduction or even at the near end of the paper after the appendix. For formatting purposes, the acknowledgment page is not part of the page count and should not have other components of the thesis included in the same page.
How to Write an Acknowledgment
Expressing your gratitude after the job well done does not have to be as formal as the rest of the thesis although there are still some restrictions to it. The language should be as short and as simple as possible and should address roughly about 4-5 individuals or groups at the most. This is just one of the few parts of the thesis where the student can write casually, but keep in mind that it still depends on whom the thanks is addressed to. If the subject is an institution for instance, the language should be as formal as possible in contrast to a family member or an advisor who you know personally. Needless to say, grammar and spelling should always be correct. As for structure, it’s important to state to whom the acknowledgment is dedicated to and either a short message or maybe a reason why the person is being thanked.
Tips to improve an acknowledgment
- The fewer the better- Acknowledgments feel a bit more special if you don’t thank everybody that you know. Choose people who have assisted you greatly in the research process, say an advisor or somebody who inspired you to pursue the thesis.
- Be parallel- If you write one acknowledgment in the form of a personal message try to keep the same style for the rest of the dedications. If you write in a third person voice, try to use that style all throughout the acknowledgment to keep things organized.
- Make it memorable! Your thesis will be printed out for the world to see. So make sure you thank the right people for the right reasons.
What is a Thesis Writing Service?
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